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VARIOUS ARTISTS - Báidín Fheidhlimí

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Báidín Fheidhlimí
Gael Linn CEFCD204

This year Gael Linn celebrates its 60th anniversary as a record company, publisher and promoter of the Irish language through music, education, literature and other means. Báidín Fheidhlimí subtitled “Selected Gael Linn singles 1968-1980” compiled by journalist/songwriter/broadcaster Shay Healey, gathers a collection of single tracks recorded between 1968 and 1980. Among the artists included are Emmett Spiceland, The Johnstons and the almost forgotten WE4 and the CD musically veers between raw traditionalism, balladry and sunshine folk pop.

Emmett Spiceland with a young Donal Lunny was “Ireland’s first boy band” - their psychedelic tinged vocal harmonies and versatility includes a Donegal children’s song Báidín Fheidhlimí and the rousingly rougher Olaim Punch. The Johnstons’ Gleantan Ghlas Gaoth Dobhair has words by Proinsias Ó Maonaigh, father of Altan’s Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, while WE4’s Seekers influenced Cóilín has lyrics by actor Neil Tobin and music by Roger Whittaker. Some mid 70s recordings include tracks by Clannad and MacMurrough penned for the Pan Celtic Song Contests while Ceathrar’s Faoilean embraces full on folk–rock.

Offering a fascinating look at a forgotten canon in Gael Linn’s catalogue, Báidín Fheidhlimí is a missing piece in many Irish music history jigsaw puzzles.

John O’Regan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 98 of The Living Tradition magazine.